A visitor to my writing group complained (gently) about my use of insouciant in a story. He said it brought him to a halt, taking him out of the story when he had to figure out its meaning.
Now, of course, this happens to all of us. Does an unfamiliar word take you out of the story? I think insouciant is fairly commonplace, but there are more difficult words or phrases you run into. Especially slang or foreign vernacular phrases sometimes.
Readers: should a writer use the simplest word to describe something to avoid this. Or do you like a wider vocabulary in your reading material? Do you resent the occasional trip to the dictionary? Do you as writers try to limit fancy pants words?
Is this kid insouciant on his new sled or what?